AILA's Crystal Williams - An 11 Percent Raise to 276,792 Per Year - Outrageous!

by Kenneth Rinzler

Last Friday, July 13, AILA posted its 2011 tax return (Form 990) on its website.

In addition to death and taxes, we can now add AILA's hypocrisy to those things which are certain in life. For no matter what, salaries for the top staff at AILA will continue to increase at obscene rates. Look at the following data concerning the annual compensation package of Crystal Williams, AILA's Executive Director:

Year Annual Compensation % Increase U.S. Inflation Rate
2008 $201,815 40.6% 3.85%
2009 $195,396 -3.2% -0.34%
2010 $248,257 27.0% 1.64%
2011 $276,792 11.5% 3.16%

It is universally acknowledged by all that this country is in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, with an official unemployment rate hovering at 8% (and an unofficial rate probably significantly higher), yet the ExCom of AILA - of which the Executive Director is a member - keeps giving these outrageous raises, year after year.

I don't know what's worse: whether AILA's leadership actually believes that Ms. Williams deserved an 11% raise last year, or their confidence that the membership will forever turn a blind eye and continue to pony up outrageous dues for executive compensation, overseas junkets, and overpriced conferences.

Ask yourself: did you get an 11% raise last year, on top of the 27% raise the year before? I sure didn't.

When you add in the perks, such as attending conferences, etc., we are talking about $300,000 per year. Remember this is for a not for profit, member-funded organization, not a company. Are the members getting their money's worth? I think not.

About The Author

Kenneth Rinzler is an immigration lawyer in Washington, DC, and a frequent visitor to consular posts, having now traveled to 40 countries. A graduate of Georgetown University and Seton Hall University School of Law, he is a member of the District of Columbia, Indiana, New Jersey, and U.S. Supreme Court Bars. In addition to authoring articles for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), he has written on immigration law for the German American Chamber of Commerce. Before specializing in immigration law, he spent nearly ten years working as a legislative assistant and counsel to a U.S. Congressman, and thus has an intimate knowledge of Federal legislative and administrative procedures

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.